Does GPS tracking work in remote area?

Does GPS tracking work in remote area?

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Frustration is the natural reaction when we experience with no service or signal. Industries like forestry, mining, oil&gas will be suffice to illustrate the point. They have fleet assets operated in remote area and cannot communicate with the base or management system. It forces managers to rely on the occassional phone call to stay updated and know what’s happening. However, taking a GPS solution helps managers track fleet, plan out jobs and ensure overall safety. Though GPS system can do the perfect job, most of us are wondering if GPS tracking work in remote area as most options fail. Whatever the case, you can find the answer in this guide.

Does GPS tracking work in remote area?

Before we head to main part of remote area tracking, it’s better to understand how GPS works. In general terms, global positioning system consists of a network of 24 satellites. GPS receiver gets signals from satellites orbiting high above the earth. By calculating the time it takes each signal to reach the GPS, it can get to know the exact distance between signal and each satellite. As the position of the satellite in the sky is known exactly, the GPS calcualtes the position.

Cellular GPS network

When it comes to GPS tracking system, data collection and location tracking is only part of the process. As we can see, most GPS tracking devices for fleet work on a cellular network that transmits all of collected data somewhre else, instead of displaying it on a screen directly on the receiver. By transmitting data to a fleet management system, one can access all information and utilize functions like geofence, fuel use, driver behavior reports and much more.

The limitation of cellular network is the same as those you would experience with cell phone. GPS signals are not always accessible, especially in a remote area. If the vehicle is located in an area where a cellphone cannot make call, the GPS device may not transmit data either. However, similar to sending voicemail and text without cell service, data will be accessible once coverage is restored.

Cellular networked devices can be an excellent option for many businesses, but it might not suitable for companies with fleets that operate in remote area or without cellular coverage. Furthermore, industries like forestry, mining, oil&gas often has remote work sites that are beyond cellular network coverage, inconsistent or non-existent transmission is a big issue.

Satellite GPS network

Similarly, commerical satellites GPS networks can be used to provide global network coverage. GPS tracking system works with satellite network to provide users with uninterrupted service, so that your fleet operated in remote area won’t ever be invisible to your management system. Compared with cellular network, satellite network does not rely on spotty coverage based on cell towers. Your assets in remote area will be visible, anywhere and anytime. It enjoys the same amount of visibility like traditional highway fleet.

Can GPS work in the mountain?

Yes, GPS does work in the mountains. If the GPS is located somewhere on the side of the mountain, or near the top, there is enough visible sky to see enough satellites and pinpoint the exact location. However, GPS receiver cannot determine the physical location if it’s in a deep canyon or an urban canyon. After all, not much sky is in view from the bottom of deep canyon to locate 3 satellites and calculate the position.

Is COVID-19 outbreak affecting the GPS functioning?

No, GPS tracking system remains fully operational and available to the world. As social distancing and stay-at-home orders cannot completely carried out, some apps that utilize GPS system are developed to track cases and strengthen the epidemic prevention work.

Wrapping up

Having the ability to track fleet assets in remote area can be a boon for fleet managers. It might be diffcult to get location data with cellular networked devices, while satellites GPS networks can do the perfect job. It can provide global network coverage and give managers total visibility into the fleet. It means that GPS tracking with satellite network can work in remote area without interruption.

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Carl L. Hirsch is a writer, editor, and journalist. He has been a staff writer in various US-based periodicals for five years. But then he decided to dedicate his life to traveling and freelance writing.

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